August 8, 2022

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A trend which involves people mourning the loss of a loved one by rapping, dancing...

A trend which involves people mourning the loss of a loved one by rapping, dancing and even pulling pranks at funerals and then uploading the videos to TikTok has sparked debate. 
While TikTok’s about grief are nothing new, with the #grief page filled with videos of people sharing stories of loved ones or reading poetry, things took an odd turn in 2020 when people began sharing clips from funerals. 
The trend erupted in popularity last September when Trinity Wright, 21, filmed herself and her 12-year-old sister rapping Soulja Boy’s ‘Rick & Morty’ meme song in front of their mother, Michelle Wright’s open casket after she died of COVID-19.   
‘Day one of singing ‘Rick & Morty’ to our mom until she comes back from the [email protected],’ the onscreen caption on the viral video read.
While Wright and others have said the moment served as a therapeutic way to laugh while coping with grief, others said it was crossing the line at what is appropriate.   
‘If this is real, it’s really inappropriate. I hope this whole thing is a joke,’ one TikTok user wrote. 
Another one added: ‘This is wrong – really wrong.’
And another said: ‘ I don’t get what people find funny with this its just too far.’ 

Trinity Wright, 21, (right) filmed herself and her 12-year-old sister rapping Soulja Boy’s ‘Rick & Morty’ in front of their mother’s open casket

Many expressed outrage at the sister’s open casket performance

Others said it was a legitimate way to mourn the loss of their mother

The viral TikTok did however, have its defenders who said it was better to have fun and laugh at a funeral. 
Among the defenders were The View’s Whoopi Goldberg and Joy Behar, who likened it to the funeral of the late Joan Rivers, which they called ‘hilarious’ and a ‘great time.’  
One TikTok user commented on the video, saying ‘You gotta laugh so you don’t cry, amirte folks?’ 
Another user defended the girls from criticism, writing, ‘Everyone mourns different, jokes were the best way to cope for me and I think they would know their mom better than all of you guys.’  
Another TikTok user simply wrote, ‘We truly are a different generation.’  
Another TikTok was posted last month with the hashtag #twerkingonagrave and featured Tik Tok user Cara Mia twerking on the grave of her deceased friend. 

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Tik Tok user Cara Mia filmed herself twerking on the grave of her late friend. She was doing the dance to celebrate the anniversary of her friend’s death

‘Nothing like twerking on your best friend in the afterlife on their deathiversary. We miss you, Amira,’ the caption read.  
A month after the Wright sisters’ Tik Tok went viral, another TikTok user with the handle name Gregg Denton posted a prank video of a man pretending to drop his father’s ashes at his funeral service, only to reveal the real ashes were safe. 
The grieving son posted it as a tribute to his late father, and received more than 3.8 million likes as people enjoyed the dark sense of humor during a difficult time.  

A prank video of a man dropping his father’s ashes at his funeral received 3.8 million likes. Many related to the video and said having a sense of humor was important during difficult times

Looking at the online trend, psychiatrist Dr. Mimi Winsber, chief medical officer at Brightside Health, told In The Know that the videos demonstrate people’s desire to laugh and connect with others during hard times. 
‘There is comfort in sharing the loss with others, which is why every culture and society has developed rituals around grief and death, and these have been practiced since the dawn of time,’ she explained. 
‘Death rituals in the form of funerals, memorials or other gatherings help mourners process the loss and transition into a new life without their loved one.
‘In modern life, without traditional venues for grieving — religious institutions, extended families, villages — and pandemic-induced isolation, perhaps social media is a convenient or compelling outlet.’ 

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